My grandma is famous for her German chocolate cake recipe. Passed down to her children and grandchildren, we like to bake this treat on special family occasions. When I was 10, I decided it was my turn to start baking.
After mixing the ingredients and placing it in the oven, I waited patiently for the oven timer to beep. When it did, I returned to find an exploded cake, the dark brown batter splattered across the inside of the oven.
I repeated my steps, re-mixing the ingredients and setting the timer, only to return again to another erupted cake. Only after it happened a third time did I think to ask for help.
“Have you been putting in a tablespoon of baking soda?” my mom asked, “the recipe calls for only a teaspoon.” It turns out all I needed was a little parental supervision (and a lot less baking soda).
Much like baking a cake, creating content is a delicate process. One tiny change in ingredients could throw everything out of whack. A recipe outlines the best process for cooking, while a workflow is the framework for writing successful content.
So what is your ideal content writing workflow?
Content writing is one of the most important factors in creating an online presence for your brand. But you can’t write great content without setting yourself on the right path. A workflow gives you a sequence of well-defined, repeatable steps that you can follow to create meaningful, result-oriented content. Your workflow should look something like this:
1. Define the problem or objective
The content requester identifies the need for a specific piece of content. Do you want to raise awareness? Educate and inform? Entertain?
2. Identify your target audience
Whom is the piece of content for? How will it help them? The writer should have this information before they get started.
3. Create a list of important key words
Keep key word usage in mind. Making a list of targeted keywords will help keep your writing focused. Take note to use them in the title, body copy and meta description.
4. Define the topic of your piece
Determine the main point of the piece.
5. Do the necessary research
Gather information from a subject matter expert and collect data to strengthen the piece. Be sure to properly attribute credible sources.
6. Write a compelling piece that includes an engaging headline
Make your content scannable and easy to read. Remember that the headline is just as important as the main body. Use it to draw in the audience.
7. Edit your work for errors
The content editor then amends and edits the content and moves it along to the approval stage.
8. The content receives approval
The site owner makes edits and approves content after a final review.
9. Select the right image
Using an image alongside your content is important, but don’t choose just any random picture. Make sure it stresses the main point of your piece.
10. Publish and promote
Publish on your blog or website and promote on social. Make sure your piece gets where it needs to go.
What else is there to know?
You have a basic process in place, but a few other factors might affect your workflow.
- A Content Management System – Whether you’re developing a blog for your website, whitepapers or articles, a content marketing platform is crucial to your success. A good CMS simplifies and automates your content workflow, helping you stay up to date and organized with all of your individual projects.
- Publication frequency – How fast and often you need to produce content will affect ideal your workflow. When generating high-volume content, your process should be straightforward and easy to follow.
- Map out your tasks – A visual workflow diagram will help you understand the relationship between each step of the process. When you start mapping, you’ll discover missing steps and be able to further strengthen your workflow.
We can talk all day about creating stellar content, but without a process in place, your content strategy will explode, just like my German chocolate cake. Just like following a recipe yields delicious food, your ideal workflow generates fantastic content. Ready to work on your own workflow? Sign up for a free 14-day trial of BrandpointHUB today.